Luke Henley


My name’s Luke Henley, and I’m a Tucson, AZ native currently finishing up a writing degree at the ripe age of 26 (late bloomer). I guess it would be silly to point out that I’ve been listening to music since I was born because I think that’s true of everybody, but I can tell you that I’ve probably spent at least a quarter of every paycheck I’ve ever made on music. I’m not saying I’m a good decision-maker, but I am an unabashed music addict – everything from Townes van Zandt to Immortal. I’ve also been writing and recording music since high school, most recently solo as Girl Brains and in the band Tree Stars. I dropped out of NYU to move back to Arizona and work in a record store in 2008 which ended up being an ace career move (I did manage to pick up some great vinyl and make some lifelong music geek friends while I was at it). From there I went on to do social work for a while and got to hang out with some really incredible kids and their families. Right now, however, I live in Santa Fe, NM where I spend most of my time cooking chorizo and grits, drinking coffee, and listening to black metal. It’s almost like being retired!

I’m really happy to have a chance to share some of my thoughts on music – especially black metal/doom/all the other ugly and perverse forms of extreme music out there – and I’m psyched to be a part of the Ech(((o)))es and Dust family!





Articles by Luke Henley

Horseback – Dead Ringers

This is the sort of work that makes a healthy argument for an otherwise quiet work being classified as another form of heavy. A spiritual sort of heavy. A heavy that weighs on the mind as it lifts it up. – By Luke Henley

Wreck and Reference – Indifferent Rivers Romance End

The constant state of change is essential to each piece – a nearly perfect execution of philosophical ideas through musical composition. – By Luke Henley

GOLD – No Image

GOLD has managed to fracture its own identity and re-assemble it in a drastic and bold way. ‘No Image’ is a breathtaking example of how a shift in tone and focus can launch a band so far past its initial offering as to almost become unrecognizable as the same band. This is a confident and evolved step that feels authentic and absolutely fearless. – By Luke Henley

StarGazer – A Merging to the Boundless

Like the best works of art it seems to have been created in a void in which the only three witnesses and critics were the three who wrote and played it. The real justice will be seen in that void expanding outward and sucking more people in. To those paying attention, this will be a listen to return to for years to come. – By Luke Henley

Thaw – Earth Ground

The band reaches a sort of amalgamation of post-hardcore brute strength and the tinny chimes of well-placed arpeggiated black metal classicism. – By Luke Henley

Mutilation Rites – Harbinger

…In providing a new clarity Mutilation Rites has managed to dial in their focus on something on a completely new level from their debut. The results are dizzying. – By Luke Henley

Bastard Sapling – Instinct is Forever

The expansiveness of the band’s sound is what makes it arguably the most exciting release the genre has had to offer so far this year. – By Luke Henley

Trans Am – Volume X

Expectations are not very useful when it comes to approaching their music because they will rarely be met and more likely be side-stepped entirely. That is the beauty of Trans Am, a band that continues to exist in a vacuum that often seems to be solely occupied by themselves. By Luke Henley

Mortals – Cursed to See the Future

You simply do not consider the length of the tracks as they are brimming over with muscular, innovative passages that lock together like a Roman phalanx. Even at their most blistering, such as the stunning ‘Series of Decay’, the music does not cause fatigue or endanger itself with the sorts of tropes that might otherwise leave you tracking the seconds on your laptop. – By Luke Henley

Mortualia – Blood of the Hermit

For fans of minimal, depressive black metal, there are very few people creating it with as much integrity and, oddly, vibrancy, as Mortualia. – By Luke Henley

Wreck and Reference – Want

Music has come to resemble an electron cloud, with no single trajectory able to be mapped effectively. This is the world in which Wreck and Reference excels, demonstrating with their album Want that conversations about what metal is or isn’t are becoming completely obsolete. – By Luke Henley

Interview: Nathan Means of Trans Am

“I like cramming lots of shit in. The world is crowded with a lot of shit, why shouldn’t our albums be?” – Nathan Means

PAWS – Youth Culture Forever

It seems that the band, in some ways, has given audiences more of the same along with something intangible that makes it all just sound a little bit better.This album sounds like a band that is exponentially more confident and well aware of their strengths, of which there are many. By Luke Henley

Tweak Bird – Any Ol’ Way

Those who are looking for the latest dose of fuzz rock heaviness might be upset, but considering the band has been at it since 2008 now it is best to focus on understanding that bands get tired of cranking out the same show every year, and for those who trust a band in transit to new sounds there are rewards waiting. By Luke Henley

Lantlôs – Melting Sun

A worthwhile artist is constantly changing because worthwhile people are constantly changing. Markus Siegenhort, the primary force behind Lantlôs, has unveiled a new peak in his career with the boldly progressive sound of Melting Sun. – By Luke Henley

Godstopper – Children Are Our Future

While the band, criminally so, is not yet a household name among experimental-loving noiseniks, there is a certain amount of expectation built up ahead of their release of their newest EP Children Are Our Future. Those expectations are certainly met, although sadly they are not shattered in the way audiences might have wanted. – By Luke Henley

The Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell – Check ’em Before You Wreck ’em

If a band steps up and recreates a sound with energy and reverence the result is total pleasure that targets the part of the brain most of us refer to as “the gut”. – By Luke Henley

Teitanblood – Death

Teitanblood only seems content to seek one thing: infliction. With their new album, Death, it is clear that Teitanblood does not want you to feel release. If they’re going to feel pain, then god dammit – everyone is going to. – By Luke Henley

Impetuous Ritual – Unholy Congregation Of Hypocritical Ambivalence

This album is a pointedly tangled labyrinth of impossible design that leaves you lost, bewildered, and forces you to decide whether or not you will shrink away or allow yourself to sink into its mysteries. – By Luke Henley

Dread Sovereign – All Hell’s Martyrs

It seems as though Dread Sovereign have not yet fully realized what they do well and how to bring that to the forefront. – By Luke Henley

Nothing – Guilty of Everything

Nothing is a band that is not afraid to make decisions, and those decisions create a unified aesthetic throughout the album that often engages on a cerebral level – sometimes more so than on an emotional one. – By Luke Henley

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